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Playing Right Field Library Binding – April, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The narrator of this perky rhyming tale recalls "Saturday summers, when I was a kid," when he and his buddies ran to the schoolyard and split into two baseball teams. The "strongest and fastest" get the infield positions, while the boy trots off to the same spot: "I never needed to ask. It was sealed./ I just took up my place in right field." There he lays on his back, daydreaming... until he suddenly realizes that something is happening ("I don't know the inning. I've forgotten the score./ The whole team is yelling and I don't know what for"). The big event, of course, is a fly ball heading right for him. Catching it handily, he becomes a hero for a minute, and then returns to watching the dandelions grow. Recorded as a song by Peter, Paul & Mary, this story is scant but endearing, bound to strike a chord with chronic outfielders of any age. The first-time children's author, however, falters occasionally with the rhythm ("Sometimes I'd dream I was Mathews or Mays/ hitting home runs and making great plays./ But they were so graceful, and they were so fast;/ they never batted last"). Caldecott Medalist Simont's (A Tree Is Nice) fetching charcoal-and-watercolor pictures lend the timeless, nostalgic quality the story warrants. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?A regular, neighborhood, Saturday-afternoon baseball game is the backdrop for this poetic "Field of Dreams" offering. Welch's young hero is the last one picked when the opposing captains choose the day's teams and knows automatically to which position he'll be assigned. "You can be awkward and you can be slow./That's why I'm here in right field/watching the dandelions grow." As he wiles away the time at this underactive post, he fantasizes about some of the baseball greats?Mays, Mathews?and loses track of the play-by-play. He is awakened from his reverie by his teammates' shouts, just in time to catch a deep fly ball. The youngster's confidence gets a needed boost and he comes to realize the importance of Playing Right Field. The catchy, easy-to-read narrative, first written as a children's song, has been magically transformed into a picture book by children's literature hall of famer Simont. His charcoal and watercolor artwork has never been more vibrant. The oversized double-page spreads buzz with energy as he captures the shadows, the body language, and the subtle nuances of everyone's favorite game. One can almost feel the dandelions growing.?Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Trade; 1st edition (April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059048298X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590482981
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,526,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Every man who ever played any form of baseball needs to read this book to a youngster,especially if he was always the last chosen for a team. If "Playing Right Field" by Willy Welch doesn't stir the reader's emotional caulderon, be sure and check their pulse. Not only do I relate to this work in my own childhood, but also as a former baseball coach. Welch captured the essence of how one might reflect on those childhood days, filled with a mixture of happy and painful memories. How well I remember being chosen last for the team, being last to bat, playing right field...and of catching a difficult popup-fly ball. The artistic work of illustrator Marc Simont beautifully adds to "Playing Right Field." And the poetry was a natural to be matched with music, and is performed by folk artists Peter, Paul and Mary, on their albums "No Easy Walk to Freedom" and "Peter, Paul and Mommy Two." I rank this on the top rung of children's poetry, along with such greats as "Where The Sidewalk Ends" and "The Butterfly Jar." This is a book everyone should own!
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Format: Library Binding
I love this song. Although made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, the creative genius stems from Willy Welch. He perfectly captures the memories and emotions of the young daydreaming ballplayer in all of us. This is truly a magical book, and I recommend for any parent or grandparent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great little story for any child who is having a bit of trouble learning to play softball or baseball.
Peter, Paul and Mary recorded a version of this story years ago, but I have been unable to find it available recently.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My boys love baseball and loved this book. Cute story about not giving up no matter where you play
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Faka is good for kids!
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